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The shakeout continues through the aftermath of the U.S. debt downgrade and ongoing concerns regarding European sovereign debt. Making matters worse, discouraging domestic economic readings are mounting with the latest coming from manufacturing and for-sale housing. Accounting for the usual lag in vital economic indicators, these readings confirm that consumers and businesses began pulling back even before the mishandling of the U.S. debt-ceiling resolution and the downgrade of U.S. debt that sent equity markets around the world into a tailspin. The magnitude of the additional weight the current fear factor will place on economic activity will take time to assess, but real estate owners and investors need to be prepared for economic stagnation — if not a contraction — over the next several months. The good news is that all property types have stabilized over the past year and the sector is much better positioned than it was going into the 2008-2009 period.

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